If your event was postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, launching a GoFundMe fundraiser can be an effective way to make up for lost revenue, and promoting your fundraiser with easy-to-use tools can help you reach new donors faster.

The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on organizations across the live events industry – from venues and festivals, to fitness studios and cooking classes. Countless events have been postponed or cancelled, and those who are usually working hard behind-the-scenes to create successful events are feeling the effects of lost revenue.  

One way that these event creators are making up for lost revenue is by launching GoFundMe campaigns. GoFundMe is a free crowdfunding platform that helps people raise money for specific causes by tapping their community of loyal fans and followers. 

We’ve compiled a playbook of best practices for launching a GoFundMe fundraiser and promoting it with Paid Social Ads, an Eventbrite App Marketplace partner. By following this playbook, you can harness the power of your community to help support your business during this uncertain time.

GoFundMe best practices for live events:

  1. Launch two (2) GoFundMe campaigns: one (1) for your organization’s gap in revenue, and one (1) for your staff’s gap in income. When creating your fundraiser, here are some tips to keep in mind:
    • Tell a transparent story: In your GoFundMe description, tell your attendees about the history of your organization and how you got this far. Highlight memorable events, and be honest and straightforward about why you need support now. Use photos that give insight to your organization, community, and staff members. Get inspired by other GoFundMe campaigns from some of our music organizations.
    • Set realistic goals: Calculate your fundraiser goal based on your business needs. Factor in revenue lost due to COVID-19 event cancellations — This could include revenue streams such as ticket sales, sponsorship, food and beverage, and merchandise. If you choose to launch a fundraiser to support your staff, calculate their projected income loss due to furloughs or layoffs. Again, be transparent about this so that attendees have a clear understanding of the reality of the situation.
    • Show gratitude: Let your attendees know how much their support means; Whether they’re buying tickets and merch or contributing to your fundraisers.
  2. Promote both GoFundMe Campaigns simultaneously across channels
      • Social Media: Announce your fundraisers across social media platforms, just like you would with a new event announcement. Encourage community partners, industry leaders, staff members, friends, family, colleagues, and beyond to share your GoFundMe campaigns on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other networking sites your fans use. Let followers know when key financial milestones are hit, celebrate with them, and define the unmet goal in meaningful ways, such as in terms of how many more staff members can be supported, or how many weeks the funds add to your business runway.
        • Email Marketing: Announce your GoFundMe campaigns to your email list, and send updates as key milestones are reached. If you aren’t comfortable messaging your full list, create a segment of last year’s ticket buyers and fans who have regularly supported your organization over the years.
        • Website: Carve out an area on your website’s homepage to prominently feature the status of your fundraising efforts and calls to action for website visitors to support and share. Antone’s Nightclub in Austin, Texas does a great job calling action to their fundraiser on their homepage.
        • Eventbrite: Cross-pollinate your GoFundMe campaign by linking to your fundraiser in your Eventbrite event listing descriptions.
        • GoFundMe: Update your donors on both GoFundMe campaigns and digital channels as you reach key milestones, and as you begin using or distributing the funds.
  3. Leverage Paid Social Ads’ Free GoFundMe Playbook to continue building your reach and donations.
    • Paid Social Ads (powered by ToneDen) recently announced a new, free campaign playbook to help you integrate and promote your GoFundMe campaign and ultimately reach the right donors faster on Facebook and Instagram.
    • Here’s how it works: With this new playbook, you can generate a hyper-targeted audience that only includes attendees who are most likely to donate. This fully-integrated and targeted audience includes people who have engaged with your Facebook or Instagram accounts, visited your website, or purchased a ticket (all within the last year). By focusing on people most likely to donate, a budget of just $1/day can be effective.
    • How much it costs: At this time, you can leverage the GoFundMe Playbook 100% for free. You will only need to cover the cost of your campaign budget. To learn more or set-up the GoFundMe Playbook, click here.
    • How to use it: To see a quick video demo on how to create your campaign, click here.

Looking for other ways to sustain your business during this challenging time? Check out our COVID-19 Resources for Event Creators.

Have questions about taxes on donations? Read about Taxes for Organizations, or more specifically, Paying Income Tax on Crowdfunded Money.